Alpek to acquire PET producer Petroquimica Suape for USD385 million

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Alpek, a leading petrochemical company, is all set to buy polyethylene terephthalate (PET) producer Petroquimica Suape (PQS) for USD385 million, reported CMT.

Currently owned by Brazil's Petrobras, PQS owns a 700,000 mt/year PTA plant as well as a 450,000 mt/year PET plant in Ipojuca, Pernambuco, Brazil. After the acquisition, Alpek will own all these assets as well as Citepe - a polyester unit.

Alpek already owns Mexico’s polypropylene producer Indelpro and DAK Americas, which produces PET in the US, Mexico, Canada and Argentina.

The deal is awaiting corporate approvals as well as approvals by the appropriate governmental authorities.

Petrobras is divesting assets - except for its core oil and gas exploration and production divisions – and this deal is part of the same divesting drive.

Alpek owns 23 factories in 6 countries and it is Latin America’s largest polyester manufacturer.

More on PET markets in Mexico, Brazil as well as the larger South/Central America, Andean and Caribbean region will be discussed at CMT’s 5th SCAPET scheduled on 7-8 June, 2017 in Medellin, Colombia.

As MRC informed before, in late December 2016m, Petrobras said its board had approved the sale of two petrochemical companies, Petroquimica Suape and Citepe, to Mexico's Alpek SAB de CV for USD385 million.

Headquartered in Rio de Janeiro, Petrobras is an integrated energy firm. Petrobras' activities include exploration, exploitation and production of oil from reservoir wells, shale and other rocks as well as refining, processing, trade and transport of oil and oil products, natural gas and other fluid hydrocarbons, in addition to other energy-related activities.

Alpek is the petrochemicals unit of Mexican conglomerate Alfa.

PTT approves spin-off of oil marketing and retail ops

MOSCOW (MRC) -- State-run Thai oil and gas giant PTT has gained shareholder approval to spin off and denationalize its retail operations such as gasoline stations and cafes, as per Nikkei Asian Review.

PTT aims to carry out the spinoff as early as this year and list the newly established company on the Stock Exchange of Thailand. The new company will be unrestrained by special government regulations for state-run enterprises, allowing it to more easily complete acquisitions as well as accelerate foreign expansion.

The spun-off company, to be named PTT Oil and Retail (PTTOR), will include PTT's 1,500 gas stations nationwide as well as consumer-oriented businesses like coffee shops and convenience stores. Those operations generate about 20% of the energy giant's group net profit.

PTT will be the leading shareholder of PTTOR, controlling at least 45%. But with the government's indirect share below 50%, the new company will not legally be a state-run enterprise.

Addressing the goals of the spinoff at the shareholders meeting, PTT CEO Tevin Vongvanich said that it will be easier to create flexible growth strategies.

As MRC wrote previously, in June 2016, Thailand's largest energy company PTT Pcl postponed plans to build a USD20 bln refinery and petrochemical complex in Binh Dinh's Nhon Hoi economic zone, Vietnam amid political changes in the country and uncertainty in global oil markets. PTT and Aramco were slated to hold a 40% stake each, with the Vietnamese government holding the remaining 20%.

Higher oil prices help BP beat Q1 forecasts

MOSCOW (MRC) -- BP almost tripled its profits in the first three months of this year as the UK oil group benefited from higher oil prices to deliver better than-expected quarterly results, said The Financial Times.

Profits on an underlying replacement cost basis – the main measure watched by analysts – were USD1.5bn.

This was up from USD532m in the first quarter of 2016 and higher than the USD1.26bn consensus forecast by analysts.

The results added to evidence of recovery in the sector after an 80 per cent increase in oil prices from the 12-year lows recorded early last year. ExxonMobil and Chevron, the two biggest US oil groups, both last week beat market expectations with sharply higher first quarter earnings.

BP’s operating cash flow increased strongly to USD4.4bn, excluding expenses related to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, from USD3bn in the same period last year. This helped BP keep its dividend steady at 10 cents per share despite a series of recent acquisitions to replenish its oil and gas reserves.

Production rose 5 per cent in the quarter to 3.5m barrels per day as BP began to benefit from the first of several new projects due to come on stream in coming months.

As MRC informed earlier, BP is seeking buyers for its 50% stake in Chinese petrochemicals joint venture SECCO, its largest investment in China, in a deal sources said could fetch USD2-USD3 B.

BP is a leading producer of oil and gas and produces enough energy annually to light nearly the entire country for a year. Employing about 17,000 people across the country, BP supports more than 170,000 additional jobs through all of its business activities.

Huajin Chemical plans to restart HDPE unit in China

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Huajin Chemical is likely brought on-stream its high density polyethylene (HDPE) unit in May 2017, as per Apic-online.

A Polymerupdate source in China informed that the company has planned to resume production at the unit on May 6, 2017. The unit was taken off-line for maintenance on April 19, 2017.

Located in Liaoning province, China, the HDPE unit has a production capacity of 300,000 mt/year.

As MRC informed before, in mid-February 2017, state oil giant Saudi Aramco signed a contract with Chinese oil refiner North Huajin Chemical Industries Group Corp to supply crude in 2017. The contract, the first between Aramco and Huajin, comes as Saudi Arabia attempts to regain its status as the top crude supplier to China, the world's second-largest oil consumer, this year after losing the top spot to Russia in 2016.

Liaoning Huajin Chemicals Group Corporation (Huajin Group), a subsidary group under China North Industries Group Corporation, which is invlolved in production of petrochemical products in the country. Since more than 30 years development, Huajin Group has formed three leading industries such as petro-chemicals, chemical fertilizers and road asphalt. The existing production capacity is respectively 7000KT/Y refinery plant, 1800KT/Y diesel, 700KT/Y ethylene, 1000KT/Y synthetic resin, 1500KT/Y urea, 1000KT/Y road asphalt, 200KT/Y lub oil. Huajin Group has more than 12, 000 employees with total assets of 33.5 billion yuan. Its annual sales revenue is over 40 billion yuan.

Profit leaps 80% at SABIC in Q1 as product prices improve

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Net profit at Saudi Basic Industries Corp (SABIC), one of the world's biggest petrochemical producers, jumped 80 percent from a year earlier in the first quarter of 2017 on the back of higher sales prices for its products, said Reuters.

SABIC, which is majority state-owned, made a net profit of 5.24 billion riyals (USD1.40 billion) in the three months to March 31, up from 2.91 billion riyals in the year-earlier period, the company said in a bourse statement on Monday.

That was in line with the forecasts of analysts polled by Reuters, who had on average predicted that SABIC would make a quarterly profit of 5.35 billion riyals.

Gross sales for the first quarter totalled 36.95 billion riyals, up 10 percent from 33.47 billion riyals a year ago.

The company's results are closely tied to oil prices and global economic growth because its products - plastics, fertilisers and metals - are used extensively in construction, agriculture, industry and consumer goods manufacturing.

Like other Saudi companies, SABIC began reporting its results under international IFRS accounting standards this year, so some of its figures for the first quarter of 2016 were restated. Last year, it reported a net profit of 3.41 billion riyals for the quarter.

As MRC informed earlier, ExxonMobil Chemical Company and SABIC each announced the selection of a site in San Patricio County, Texas for potential development of a jointly owned petrochemical complex on the US Gulf Coast.

SABIC ranks among the world's top petrochemical companies, and is among the worldпїЅs market leaders in the production of polyethylene, polypropylene, advanced thermoplastics, glycols, methanol and fertilizers. Sabic manufactures on a global scale in Saudi Arabia, the Americas, Europe and Asia Pacific. The company operates in more than 50 countries across the world with 40,000 employees worldwide.